DAVENPORT, Iowa — Lee Enterprises Inc., publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other newspapers, said Tuesday that it had net income of $1.8 million in its fiscal third quarter, helped by growth at its digital operations and cost cutting.
The profit, which reversed a year-ago loss, pleased investors. Lee's stock jumped 31 cents, or 11 percent, to close Tuesday's trading at $3.10. Earlier in the day, the stock touched $3.20, its highest price in more than two years.
For the April-June period, Lee's profit amounted to 3 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.1 million, or 3 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding one-time items, the Davenport, Iowa, company said it earned an adjusted profit of $3.3 million or 6 cents per share in the recent quarter. The adjusted profit a year ago was $1.5 million or 3 cents per share.
Revenue fell 3 percent to $167 million from $171.7 million.
Revenue from print and digital advertising and marketing services dropped 6 percent to $113.6 million, hurt by double-digit declines in employment and automotive advertising revenue.
Digital revenue, which includes both advertising and subscriptions, rose 5 percent to $19.9 million.
Meanwhile, operating expenses fell 5 percent to $127.2 million, helped by a smaller workforce and lower newsprint and ink costs.